What happens at an MRI scan?

The radiographer who is operating the MRI scanner will show you into the room and will help you get into the right position on the couch. They will use pads and pillows to help you get comfortable so that you can remain still during the scan.

Some people need to have a contrast medium to produce more detailed images, which involves an injection of dye. The dye is injected into a vein in your arm, which can make it feel a bit warm for a short while. If you need a contrast medium, you may also need to have a blood test before your scan as a precaution and to check your kidney function.

The MRI scanner is approximately four feet long and is open at both ends. During the scan, the couch is moved so that the body area being examined is in the centre of the scanner. You’ll be given headphones or earplugs to wear because the machine makes a loud humming noise.

The radiographer will be in the control room, but you’ll be able to talk to them via an intercom and they can see you on a screen. You’ll need to keep completely still while the images are being recorded. If you’re feeling worried or uncomfortable, just let the radiographer know and they will do what they can to help.

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